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Perl Debugged

by Plato (Friar)
on Mar 11, 2005 at 09:53 UTC ( #438581=bookreview: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??
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Item Description: Perl Debugged by Peter Scott & Ed Wright

Review Synopsis:

Book Layout:
Chapter 1 - Introduction
Chapter 2 - The Zen of Perl Developing
Chapter 3 - Antibugging
Chapter 4 - Perl Pitfalls
Chapter 5 - Tracing Code
Chapter 6 - Testing Perl Programs
Chapter 7 - The Perl Debugger
Chapter 8 - Syntax Errors
Chapter 9 - Run-Time Exceptions
Chapter 10 - Semantical Errors
Chapter 11 - Resource Failure
Chapter 12 - Perl as a Second Language
Chapter 13 - Debugging CGI Programs
Chapter 14 - Conclusion
Appendix A - Perl Debugger Commands

4 out of 5 stars!
A very well laid out book, with plenty of examples for the novice-intermediate perl programmer. I've deducted one star simply because of the age of the book (published in 2001, it would be nice to see this volume updated), but that shouldn't put you off trying to get a copy.
The first four chapters give useful information on programming defensively - plus avoiding common perl pitfalls. Chapters 5 & 6 are gems, providing great introductions to tracing and testing your code. I found these chapters excellent.
Even though the title of the book is Perl Debugged, the debugger isn't actually covered in any great detail until nearly half way through the book at chapter 7. The authors give you a useful introduction to using this tool, plus covering some details like emacs and ptkdb.
Chapters 8 - 11 outline some common errors that can occur in your code, plus methods for fixing them. Chapter 12 outlines some differences between perl and other programming languages.
Chapter 13 - Debugging CGI Programs - another gem, provides useful information on the same.

This is a great little book (262 pages), and contains many useful code snippets and real world examples. The authors style is humorous and informative, and they dont simply rehash the perl documentation like other writers. One of this books authors, Peter Scott, also wrote the very good Perl Medic: Transforming Legacy Code by Peter J. Scott, and while there is a small bit of overlap between the two books, they do seem to compliment each other nicely.
Link to the books website:


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